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Trolls Give Me Anxiety!

Only for a short while.

37 seconds to be exact! This is what goes through my mind!

 

Cue Metallica (Enter Sandman) and the eye-roll. • Googles "How to deal with trolls without losing your sanity?"

• Should I reply with a "u mad bro?" GIF... or not?

• Rookie move that triple exclamation point attack!!!

• Conjures Michelle Obama “when they go low….” speech

• Should I offer them a virtual snack – trolls get hangry too, right?

• Respond to troll's negativity with a GIF of a unicorn farting a rainbow (ultimate power move btw)

• Channel my inner Gandalf? "You shall not pass... with your nonsensical arguments!"

• I hate social media.

• I love social media.

• Note to self: always keep a bag of popcorn handy.

• You shall not enter my garden of Zen

• Empathy seeps in

• Anxiety ends!

 

Are you aware that internet trolling has its own science?


While many people do enjoy chatting and debating issues online, approximately 5.6% of individuals self- identify as trolls.


Scientists studied a group of 1200 internet users to understand these trolls in particular and found something called ‘dark traits’.

Dark Traits = psychopathy, narcissism and most specifically sadism.

Most people avoid inflicting pain on others, and if we do, we experience remorse.


But for sadists, cruelty can be exciting and pleasurable.


These people aren’t necessarily serial killers or “bad” people, but they get an emotional reward when causing the suffering of others.


 

If you were given the choice of the following 4 jobs, which would you choose? a) Killing bugs b) helping an experimenter kill bugs c) cleaning dirty toilets d) enduring pain from ice water?

Studies show that those who choose to kill bugs have higher scores on a scale measuring sadistic impulses.

(Of the 71 participants, 12.7% chose the pain-tolerance task, 33.8% chose the toilet-cleaning task, 26.8% chose to help kill bugs, and 26.8% chose to kill bugs.)


 

Internet trolls show very high levels of sadism and have fun distressing others by being argumentative and disruptive.


The unfortunate part is that trolls not only comment more but receive more replies than the average user.


They exhibit considerable cunning when enticing others, thus originating the term “trolling” which in the context of fishing refers to the act of trailing a baited line behind a moving boat in order to catch fish.


Negative feedback only stimulates a harsher response from trolls, and their behavior becomes worse with each comment.


 

There’s this cool teaching from the Buddha Akkosa Sutta.


He says if someone is throwing insults at you and you throw them right back, it’s like you’re having a dinner party with them. When you are taunted, say to yourself, “I choose not to accept these words.” It’s not always easy even for me. And if things get really bad, like threats or hate speech, you might want to take more serious action. Responding to a bully, whether they’re online or in real life, gives them this weird sense of importance. Healthy folks get their status from being admired for doing positive stuff. Bullies, on the other hand, want to look tough by being aggressive. This is part of their brand and they are using YOU to build their platform. Meet aggression with deafening silence.

Don’t be baited like a fish or become a bug killer.


 

Further Reading: (another source here: Akkosa Sutta ) Main Study: http://scottbarrykaufman.com/wp-conte... Trolls Linked To Sadism: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/... Sadism Background: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/i... Dark Triad Traits: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_triad


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